Research by professor Charles Morin has demonstrated that psychotherapy, and specifically cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), is more efficient than drugs to treat insomnia. According to data presented last Thursday by Dr. Morin at the annual meeting of the Quebec psychiatric association, drugs work, but have effects that vary from weak to moderate, depending on the insomnia component being measured (number of awakenings per night, length of sleep, etc...), while the effect of cognitive-behavioral therapy varies from moderate to strong. It is therefore important to train doctors better, and to ensure that these treatments are covered by the public health insurance regime in the province (RAMQ).
As Dr. Morin told journalist Jean-François Cliche in a recent article in Le Soleil newspaper: "It is paradoxical. If you prescribe ativan to a person suffering from insomnia, it will be covered by the RAMQ, but if this same person want to see a psychologist, he (or she) will have to pay himself, or subscribe to a private insurance policy. It is clear that changes are required to increase access to some forms of psychotherapy, not all, but at least those whose efficactiveness has been demonstrated.
Read the full article, in French, in le Soleil: L'insomnie mal traitée au Québec
A study about cognitive-behavioral therapy, which includes contributions by CERVO Research Centre authors Annie Vallières, Chantal Mérette and Charles Morin has also been cited in the health section of the French magazine Le Figaro. In the article, Dr. Morin highlights another important finding about CBT: «Most people who suffer from insomnia consult when it impacts their quality of life during the day: mood, energy, ability to concentrate. It is therefore interesting to show that CBT not only improves the quality of sleep, but also well-being during the day. This can give hope to patients".
The article is titled "Contre l’insomnie, pensez à la thérapie comportementale" and is available online (in French) here sante.figaro.fr
View the abstract of the scientific article here: Cognitive-behavior therapy singly and combined with medication for persistent insomnia: Impact on psychological and daytime functioning.